Aardvark Daily
NZ Teen attempts Credit Card Fraud on the Net
Copyright © 1997 to Bruce Simpson, syndication rights available
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15 Jan 1998

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The 13 year old son of a court probation officer was "caught out" attempting to commit a credit-card fraud using software downloaded from the Internet this week.

Using a freely available program designed to create fictitious but valid credit card numbers, the youth, from a provincial North Island centre, attempted to register several Internet domain names apparently with a view to trading them.

Some of the names registered included porno.co.nz and unitedvideo.co.nz.

The fraud was detected when authorisations for the cards were declined by the credit card authorisation center. Given the age of the perpetrator and the fact that his father is a probation officer, the matter was not referred to police however the youth concerned will be writing a formal admission of guilt and apology to the vendor involved.

This case highlights the vulnerability of vendors when accepting credit-card transactions over the Net. While much publicity is often given to the risks to the card-holder, in almost every case of fraud, it is the vendor who carries the loss.

At least one PC vendor spoken to by Aardvark has stated that they won't be selling product over the Net until such time as the vendor-risk associated with fraud is eliminated, having had their fingers burnt in the past.

MasterCard USA has announced that transactions performed using the new SET standard will be protected from "charge-back" in most cases, effectively making them safer than mail-order or telephone-sales from a vendor's perspective.

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